Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2011 Issue

In The News:  Bail Revoked for Book Thief Charged with Murder, & More

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A 1948 Human Torch was one of the comics stolen from Homer Marciniak.

Bail has been revoked for the alleged mastermind in a case of a book theft that turned into a murder charge. In the summer of 2010, the U.S. attorney in Buffalo, New York, alleged Rico Vendetti hired three accomplices to rob the comic book collection of 77-year-old Homer Marciniak. Marciniak began his collection, estimated to be worth $40,000 - $100,000, while still a boy. Vendetti, who allegedly made a living selling comics and numerous other stolen items on eBay, saw Marciniak's collection as a good fit for his business. According to the indictment, Vendetti's modus operandi was not stealing goods himself, but purchasing things others had stolen, naturally at a discount to fair market value. He reportedly was taking in around $50,000 per month from his "business."

 

However, this particular theft turned deadly after the alleged accomplices entered the elderly man's home. Marciniak was beaten during the robbery. He was briefly hospitalized for cuts and bruises suffered during the attack. Later that evening, roughly ten hours later, Marciniak suffered a fatal heart attack. The indictment alleges this resulted from the psychological trauma Marciniak suffered as a result of the physical attack.

 

Last fall, the U.S. Attorney charged Vendetti and three others with murder and other counts. In late March, a grand jury handed down indictments against Vendetti, 41, Arlene Combs, 26, Albert Parsons, 42, and Donald Griffin, 23, for felony murder. Vendetti and Combs were also charged with racketeering and witness tampering. All four face mandatory life sentences without parole if convicted. U.S. Attorney William Hochul released a statement saying, "…what began as a local burglary case has - through the tireless efforts of local, county, state and federal officers - become a federal racketeering and murder case." The three accomplices were already in jail when the Judge on the case revoked Vendetti's bail. He, too, will now await trial in a prison cell.

 

A group of changes in consumer protection rules approved by the European Union's Parliament evidently has some booksellers irked. The one in particular that has them concerned is an extension of the time period in which purchasers have an unlimited right to return goods purchased online or through a catalogue. Currently that period is 7 days. The new rules extend that to 14. The purpose of the extension is to encourage more trade between the countries of the European Union. Consumers may be reluctant to purchase items shipped from another country. The expectation is that having a longer period of time to inspect the goods will give people more confidence to purchase items from across national borders.

 

However, according to an article in TheBookseller.com, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association has voiced opposition to the change. Their concern is that people could buy a book, have enough time to read it, and then return it without having to pay. Perhaps even worse, they theorized some people might buy a book, put it up for sale on eBay at a premium, and if it doesn't sell in 14 days, send it back. Certainly, these are concerns, though they may be more theoretical then actual. That's a lot of work for saving a small amount of money, and if someone regularly abuses the privilege a bookseller could cut that customer off. The effect of the change is likely to be small, but presuming it goes through, time will tell.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). <i>The Pastures of Heaven.</i> New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). <i>Tender is the Night.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STOKER, Bram (1847-1912). <i>Dracula.</i> Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> GOLDING, William (1911-1993). <i>Lord of the Flies.</i> London: Faber and Faber, 1954. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> SALINGER, J. D. (1919-2010). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). <i>The Torrents of Spring.</i> New York: Scribner's, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HUXLEY, Aldous (1894-1963). <i>Brave New World.</i> London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Time Machine, an Invention.</i> New York: Henry Holt, 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> DAHL, Roald (1916-1990). <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HERBERT, Frank (1920-1986). Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> KESEY, Ken (1935-2001). <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.</i> New York: The Viking Press, 1962. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. (1922-2007). <i>Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade.</i> New York: Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press, 1969. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother (horizontal),</i> silver print, 1936. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Group of 32 WWII-era identification badges for manufacturing & military-related companies, 1940-50s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Julia Margaret Cameron, <i>Alfred, Lord Tennyson,</i> albumen print, 1869. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Arnold Genthe, <i>Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt,</i> silver print, circa 1908. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Edward Curtis, <I>Oasis in the Badlands,</I> toned platinum print, 1905. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Francis Frith, three volumes, approximately 140 photographs, 1860-70s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Eugène Atget, <i>20 Photographs,</i> gold-toned silver prints by Berenice Abbott, 1898-1927. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Neil Leifer, <i>Muhammad Ali,</i> chromogenic print, 1965. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b><br>A group of approximately 50 Photomatic selfies of the same man taken over a period of time, 1940s. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.

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